Betty Doherty

Over the past year, I have continued to work with Raj Gill co-facilitating an NVC (NonViolent Communication) practice group.  I was invited to participate in a 9 session offering based in India.  Each session is 4 hours long every second week.  In the weeks between we meet in small groups and share our learning and practice.  I have completed 3 sessions so far and am enjoying participating from a different cultural perspective.  I’ve learned a lot about assumptions!  I am glad to have the opportunity to get to know people half way around the world and hear how many of their experiences echo my own.

I am also involved in the small group program launched by my church at the beginning of Covid including the core team that nourishes the facilitators.  We have been meeting online for a year now following an outline similar to our Heart to Heart sharing with 4 pillars of pastoral care (sharing our lives), education (around racism at the moment), spiritual practice and outreach. I am just completing a Lenten series using The Virtues Project™ to look at the virtues of Jesus on his journey to the cross.  At our last session on Sunday we are hoping to hear how people might like to continue with the 5 strategies of The Virtues Project™ or something on deepening our listening skills integrating the Companioning element of The Virtues Project™ with some central concepts from NVC.  Our outreach is stymied by Covid but hopefully will get on track once the vaccinations drop the transmission rate sufficiently.

I have also been participating in a Lenten series put on by an Indigenous community out of Alberta and am learning a lot about their challenges in the church and the wider community.  It is another opportunity to experience learning in a very different way than I usually operate.  I’m learning the difference between an agenda driven program (transactional) and a connection driven program (relational).  I’m learning to “see” people at a much deeper level and hold space to receive them in their entirety.

I’ve been doing a lot of bike riding during these Covid times to get out in the fresh air and breathe.  It helps me stay grounded and connected to the wider community.  I am very grateful for Zoom that has enabled me to stay connected to all my small groups.